Building Customer Loyalty Programs for Small Business: 3 Tips for Success

couple enjoying their rewards from a company’s customer loyalty program

80% of your small business’s revenue likely comes from the top 20% of your customers. If you’re looking for ways to increase your revenue, a great place to start is increasing your customer retention. A customer loyalty program can help you do just that. If you think customer loyalty programs are just for big businesses, keep reading to learn three tips for building your own.

1. Set a goal

The first step in building a customer loyalty program is setting a goal. Your goal will help you determine the type of program to implement and how often your customers will be rewarded.

Your goal might be to increase the dollar amount each customer spends when they shop with you, so you might use a points-based program. Or, you might want to increase how often people shop with you, so you would consider a punch-based system. If you’re trying to increase brand awareness, then you might consider rewarding shoppers who refer someone to your store or share your small business on social media.

When you’re setting goals for your new customer loyalty program, make sure that they’ll help your small business achieve its overall goals, too.

2. Add value

After you’ve determined your goal, think about all the ways you can reward your customers for joining and utilizing the program.

For example, if you decide to use a point-based program, you might give each shopper 1 point per $1 spent, then offer $10 off their purchase when they reach 100 points. If you’re using punch cards, you might give your customers a 10% discount every time they fill up a card. Or, you could give a loyal shopper 15% off their next purchase each time they refer someone new.

Many consumers may be enticed by these discounts but think beyond just the rewards for reaching a certain number of points, completing a punch card, or referring a friend. You can surprise your loyalty members with other perks by offering sneak peeks of new products or keeping the store open after hours for loyalty members during busy times of the year. If you advertise all the perks of joining your new loyalty program, you’ll have a better chance of getting people to sign up.

3. Make it easy to sign up

When you’re ready to launch your program, make sure you make it easy to sign up and consider giving shoppers multiple opportunities to join. Let customers sign up quickly while they’re checking out, include a link on your social media profile, or have a sign-up form embedded on your website. If you broadcast the perks and make it easy to sign up, customers will be excited to join and continue shopping with you. It costs less to keep an existing customer than to attract a new customer. Learn 5 more ways you can boost customer retention.

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